Implementing a Safety Systems Training Program

With over 25 years of training experience, I highly endorse the idea of creating a safety systems training program. Safety systems training programs reduce accidents for employees and lowers costs for employers. According to the National Safety Council, worker injuries cost $127.7 billion in 1997. A comprehensive safety systems training curriculum can help prevent accidents and illnesses in the workplace. This results in reduced absenteeism, lower staff turnover, higher productivity and improved morale. Safety systems training programs enable all employees to recognize the importance of safety procedures and adherence to rules and regulations.


Companies typically establish a safety systems training curriculum to ensure that all employees get consistent access to tips, tools and techniques regarding safety in the workplace. For example, the “Safety and Health Management Systems eTool,” hosted online by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, provides guidance for developing a program. By using statistical reports, surveys, analysis, inspections and process improvement initiatives, you can streamline operations and enable optimal safety for everyone.


Safety systems training typically includes lectures followed by hands-on activities. Lectures typically last no more than 60 minutes. Exercises allow participants to demonstrate skills related to safety in their particular industries. For example, participants might be required to identify the logical order of steps for basic safety procedures at their companies. Supplementary resource materials, such as case studies, help participants learn by examining past mistakes and successes.


Topics covered in safety systems training include accident causes, accountability, investigations, safety metrics, scorecards, policies, regulations and standards. Participants typically learn how to manage risks, evaluate the effectiveness of safety systems and promote safety. Lectures usually provide a history of incidents so that participants recognize the need for safety measures and initiatives. For example, in the food industry, the “hazard analysis critical control point” approach is systematic and preventive. Preventing biological, chemical and physical hazards has proven to be more effective than inspection and testing.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, certification for health and safety specialists is optional. However, many employers encourage employees to obtain certification through professional organizations in their industries. The Board of Certified Safety Professionals offers several credentials with varying requirements. For example, before you can apply to take the certified safety professional test, you must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree in safety, health or environment, as well as three years of experience in safety. Individuals must also periodically renew their certifications by completing continuing education courses and activities.